Lawmakers briefed on RAND marijuana study

A group of state lawmakers was briefed Wednesday on a study of the legalization of marijuana being conducted by the RAND Corp.

The nonprofit’s Drug Policy Research Center was contracted to prepare an in-depth study of the potential financial and social impacts of legalization; its final report is due in January. Members of the Joint Fiscal Committee got an outline of the study Wednesday, and a statewide public hearing followed on Vermont Interactive Technologies.

Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding said the study is expected to be the most comprehensive analysis of its kind. It will incorporate observations from Washington state and Colorado, which have legalized pot for recreational use. On Election Day, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., passed initiatives in favor of legalization.

Beau Kilmer (right), co-director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center, and Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding brief lawmakers Wednesday on the RAND study of marijuana legalization in Vermont. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Beau Kilmer (right), co-director of the Rand Drug Policy Research Center, and Secretary of Administration Jeb Spaulding brief lawmakers Wednesday on the RAND study of marijuana legalization in Vermont. Photo by Hilary Niles/VTDigger

Beau Kilmer, co-director of RAND’s drug policy research center, outlined the shape of his group’s research. Kilmer said RAND does not have a position on marijuana legalization.

Kilmer said lawmakers should expect a near book-length treatise covering four major areas: the marijuana “landscape” in Vermont, from market demand to the money spent on enforcing current laws; an analysis of health and safety issues that put the growing body of research into context; alternative policy designs for taxation and regulation, should Vermont choose legalization; and financial projections about consumption, revenues and related costs.

He stressed that pot remains illegal under federal law. An August 2013 U.S. Department of Justice memo indicates that, for the time being, prosecutors under the current administration will not block state-by-state legalization, so long as strong regulatory systems are in place. But technically, Kilmer said, that policy could change.

RAND has identified nine areas of inquiry to inform lawmakers’ decisions:

1. Production: How will the number of producers and their production methods be regulated?

2. Profit motive: Does Vermont want to allow for-profit companies to enter the market, find other ways to raise revenues from nonprofits or control distribution through the state?

3. Promotions: How will advertising be regulated in a way that satisfies the state’s interests without infringing on constitutional free-speech rights?

4. Prevention: How will prevention messages be balanced with promotions? And how will prevention and treatment be funded until revenues start coming in, especially because marijuana use can have secondary impacts on alcohol, tobacco and opiate use?

5. Penalties: Legalization, which typically affects only people 21 years or older, does not eliminate marijuana-related police contact. How will criminal offenses and fines change, and how will driving under the influence be managed?

6. Potency: What will thresholds be for legal marijuana’s strength?

7. Purity: How will the presence of molds or pesticides, for example, be regulated — especially when it comes to edible marijuana?

8. Price: There’s a delicate balance between price, demand and revenues. How will pricing be structured and what will its effect be on the black market?

9. Permanency: How will flexibility be built into all these policies in order to respond to lessons and changing conditions?

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, was particularly concerned about the effect of legalization on the black market and enforcement. His understanding is that revenues generated in Washington have gone mostly to enforcement, leaving little in state coffers to help cover other budget demands.

Kilmer responded that enforcement costs have been slow to come down there because Washington chose to roll out legalization slowly, so the black market is still competitive.

Depending on how access and price are set, he said, the black market will be affected differently. He said the speed of rollout is one aspect of legalization lawmakers will have to set, if they choose the path of legalization.

Even more fundamental questions will need to be closely examined, he said, such as whether the goal of legalization is to eliminate the black market for the drug.

Sen. Tim Ashe, D/P-Chittenden, asked about how legalization might change the culture of Vermont. Full-page ads he has seen in Colorado newspapers, for example, might be jarring to some families.

“Also in Colorado you can take pot bus tours,” Ashe said. “That visual is something that would be very different.”

Spaulding said that depending on how regulatory levers may be set, the state could have more or less control over many of these factors. On one end of the spectrum, he said, is opening the market to commercial ventures. On the other end, Vermont could choose to control marijuana distribution the same way it controls liquor sales.

Public discussion

A public hearing moderated by Kilmer and Spaulding took place on closed circuit television in towns around the state Wednesday.

The debate was lively and featured reasoned arguments on both sides of the issue. Kilmer called it an “amazingly civil discussion,” to which Spaulding replied “It’s Vermont.”

Speakers against legalization expressed concerns about addiction and marijuana’s reputation as a “gateway” to harder drug use. Others cited new research on brain development in adolescents that suggests pot smoking can have adverse effects. Still others cited public safety concerns.

Rutland Mayor Chris Louras and others said they wanted Vermont to slow down and make the “decision based on facts and data.” They wanted more time to evaluate the results in Colorado and Washington.

Substance abuse counselor Debby Haskins said legalization will make some youths believe pot use is OK.

Those who support the legalization of marijuana said legalization would eliminate the black market (and its link to dealers who offer harder drugs), help regulate the potency and purity of the product and allow for the development of more medicinal, nutritional and spiritual uses for cannabis.

Rutland attorney Lars Lundeen said he sees a lot more damage caused by people using alcohol than marijuana. He said a conviction for using pot adversely affects a person’s employment prospects, and that the law is enforced unequally — with minorities and young people bearing the brunt of prosecution.

Notably, very few of the speakers on either side cited the revenue potential from taxing the sale of marijuana as a reason for or against legalization.

One man in Newport saw legalization as an agri-business opportunity.

“I’m a farmer,” he said. “If it’s legal, want to grow it.”

Earlier Wednesday, Governor Shumlin was asked about the issue at his press conference. He praised the RAND team’s work, and said the study “will give us the data we need to make an informed decision.”

He said he wants to “wait and see what the report says, and take the temperature of the legislative leadership.” He added that he is personally in favor of legalization; “the question is when.”

VTDigger’s Tom Brown contributed to this report.

Hilary Niles

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  • Mary Daly

    So we turn fields that currently grow food into fields of marijuana when there is concern about the long term ability for the world to grow enough food to feed the masses. Another reason to throw this bad idea out with the bath water.

    • Neil Gerdes

      There are plenty of unused fields that are going to brush that could be used to grow marijuana. That is a false argument.

      • Glenn Thompson

        Why would you want to grow Marijuana instead of food?

        • Joel Bedard

          Cannabis IS food.

          • Dave Gibson

            I don’t think we’re talking about vast fields. The amount of space needed to meet demand of Vermont consumers would be measured at the most in tens of acres, not hundreds.

        • John Greenberg

          Glenn:
          I thought you were a good capitalist: “Why would you want to grow Marijuana instead of food?” Because you can make more money by doing so! Isn’t that what capitalism is all about?

    • Peter Liston

      Marijuana is being grown now. Land for growing it is already allocated. This is simply a discussion about how it’s going to be distributed.

    • Joel Bedard

      It has long been known that the global problem with food shortages is not one of supply, but of distribution. Try harder.

  • Joel Bedard

    “Substance abuse counselor Debby Haskins” is also a Prohibition profiteer and shill for the out-of-state lobbying group SMART, which is a chapter of Kevin Sabet’s SAM organization. Ms Haskins’ source of income depends upon the continued criminalization of Cannabis. Her opinions that are masqueraded as facts should have no bearing in this discussion.

  • I fail to see how legalizing marijuana would add any positive social aspects to Vermont. If this is a revenue issue, why not just through up a couple Casino’s? I fail to see what good this will bring to Vermont, other then making it harder to teach our children to stay away from it. Teaching our children about under age drinking is difficult enough, now the state wants to add this to the list. It’s one thing to de criminalize it, but to have the sate promote it and tap it as another “sin” tax sends the wrong message. We have spent the last 30 years trying to rid ourselves of cigarette smoking, yet we want to give marijuana smoking our blessing? It sends a rather mixed message. Some even want to tax sugar drinks now, because it’s supposed to be unhealthy, just like smoking. Now the state is considering giving this our blessing.

    I could care less what you want to smoke in your house, or who you sleep with. It’s none of my business.

    • Hale Irrwin

      I believe that the use of Marijuana in many of its forms has increased dramatically in under age kids in Colorado… Like sitting in class – ostensibly sucking on a pen – but vaping THC!

      • Mike Parent

        For starters all that expensive police effort and court time for MJ enforcement would cease and those are saved dollars
        The Children is a Red Herring;
        “THE CHILDREN” If they really cared for the children they’d legalize and regulate marijuana. If they really wanted to keep any substance out of the hands of “The Children” they first must take control of distribution away from black market dealers. They haven’t accomplished that in 40+ years at a taxpayers cost in the hundreds of billions. It’s time to treat marijuana as we do alcohol. My 28 year old still gets “carded ” when buying alcohol, yet your 13 year old can buy anything the black market dealer has, for a price, whether it be money or “something else”. FACT: Your kids have a better chance dying at the hands of someone enforcing marijuana laws than they do from ingesting it. (ZERO %).
        Btw, teen use in CO is down since MJ was legalized

      • Joel Bedard

        Do you also believe in unicorns?

        • Joel, I would ask the same of you. Do you believe in unicorns, or perhaps I should say do you believe in Dionysos?

          ” That is a Rovian tactic f repeating a lie until it gains traction. And it is hogwash.”

          Perhaps, you should take a peak in the mirror. It’s seems you are singing the same song, just to a different tune.

          You continue to dance around my question. Which make me curious if you actually have anything substantial to say, other then the rhetoric that you have convinced yourself of.

          “Further, in an unregulated market, the purveyors of illicit substances frequently also provide access to opiates, heroin and more.”

          How would regulating marijuana stop this, look in Colorado, they still have a huge black market problem there, legalizing it did nothing the curb it. Just like moonshine to the booze industry, and if you don’t think that is common go to any social gathering down south, I have, and there was black market moonshine at every one. You can’t even go to a wholesale food distributor and buy sugar in bulk in NC. It’s illegal. Why? To help curb the alcohol black market.

          • Joel Bedard

            It has been less than 11 months, and there is conclusive data that points to a 60+% reduction in black market purchases in Colorado.

            Additionally, there have been multiple coordinated ‘stings’ of dispensaries that have yet to identify a single instance of sales to minors.

            Do the math–minors can only access Cannabis in Colorado from–stay with me here–the unregulated, black market.

            Legalization of Cannabis is working.

            Lastly, I have danced around nothing–I will call out every single one of you propaganda parrots at every turn, as you have nothing tangible to support the continued prohibition of Cannabis.

        • Glenn Thompson

          Your point?

    • Mike Parent

      For starters all that expensive police effort and court time for MJ enforcement would cease and those are saved dollars
      The Children is a Red Herring;
      “THE CHILDREN” If they really cared for the children they’d legalize and regulate marijuana. If they really wanted to keep any substance out of the hands of “The Children” they first must take control of distribution away from black market dealers. They haven’t accomplished that in 40+ years at a taxpayers cost in the hundreds of billions. It’s time to treat marijuana as we do alcohol. My 28 year old still gets “carded ” when buying alcohol, yet your 13 year old can buy anything the black market dealer has, for a price, whether it be money or “something else”. FACT: Your kids have a better chance dying at the hands of someone enforcing marijuana laws than they do from ingesting it. (ZERO %).

    • Mike Ferzoco

      To all you folks obsessed with “the children”- the message is simple-you can’t have any! You can’t childproof the world. So, kids, don’t touch my cigars, my whiskey, my guns or my weed. Simple.

  • “Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, was particularly concerned about the effect of legalization on the black market and enforcement. ”
    You would have thought we would have learned something from prohibition. It didn’t keep otherwise law abiding citizens from drinking, benefited organized crime, and corrupted the legal system.

    • So at what point to we but the brakes on as a society? I ask this question not directly at you, but since you made the point to bring up prohibition, should we therefore through in the towel? Do we stop at Marijuana, or say coke… crack.. heroin? Where does the buck stop?There are plenty of otherwise law abiding citizens that on social occasions use coke. Does that make it something that is socially okay? If not why not?

      As I pointed out above there in no intrinsic value to our society that I can see having the state put their tax stamp on the use of marijuana. There isn’t with alcohol either… but at a Federal level that has passed and at this point is moot.

      • Mike Parent

        We’d all be better off if the police focused on crimes that have actual victims!

        Does anyone honestly believe that wasting $20 Billion and arresting 3/4 Million Americans annually for choosing a substance Scientifically proven to be safer than what the govt allows, is a sound policy?

  • Don Peterson

    Cheer up– it moves the story line away from the weakness of the Governors mandate to manage the ship of state, and it wins him some much needed revenue.

    But governments probably should not appear to encourage impairment by profiting from it.

  • Jim Brochhausen

    Pot is one of the most Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) that Vermonters consume. That’s why it is more potent these days versus 20 years ago.

    Seems very contrarian, in VT, to legalize one of the Bio-engineering industry’s biggest products. Will our local drug dealers be required to label it as a GMO product?

    • Joel Bedard

      Your statement is a complete and utter lie. Cannabis has been hybridized by selective breeding, NOT from genetic modification, and YES, there is a difference.

      Further, the only increases in potency have been derived from improvements in cultivation and handling. The landrace strains from subequatorial regions have ALWAYS been extremely potent.

      Again, potency has NOT increased.

      • Jim Brochhausen

        Sorry, an inconvenient truth!

        The following link has over ONE MILLION, ARTICLES that discuss the GMO of pot.

        http://www.bing.com/search?q=%2bhas+marijuana++genetically+modified%3f&FORM=SSRE

        Do you really think that one of the largest CASH crops in the world would be immune to GMO engineering? Is that would you have us believe?

        So perhaps you might concede that maybe some, if not most, of the pot in VT has been GMO’d, by our good/capitalistic friends in Mexico, Asia, CA and S. America.

        So, my question stands.

        Should our local/socially responsible drug dealers provide GMO labeling for the weed they sell?

        • Joel Bedard

          So, what you are implying, is that Mexican cartels have somehow moved on from digging tunnels to genetic modification technology? You actually believe that?

          Honestly, you are introducing one of the strangest canards of which I have seen into this discussion.

          The DEA attempted to clone Cannabis’ properties a few years back, and just like that, ‘Spice’ was born. Monsanto has been playing around with GMO Cannabis for years in an attempt to REMOVE the psychotropic characteristics of Cannabis.

          But if you think that there are clandestine gene-splicing labs out there focusing on Cannabis, you are out of your gourd.

          • Jim Brochhausen

            Yes, it is genetically modified. Here’s an example from the Huffington Post. I could send you a thousand more articles like this.

            Dr Cascini has investigated the prospect of genetic modification, and in one sample she tested she found a trace of a substance often associated with genetically modified crops, strengthening concerns that some strains of cannabis have been genetically modified.

            DR. Cascini also points out that genetic modification of plants used to produce psychoactive drugs has already definitely happened. Research recently published in the academic journal ‘Plant Biotechnology Journal’ demonstrated it was possible to genetically modify the morphine poppy to boost production of morphine-like substances from the plant by 15-30% dry weight.

          • Jim Brochhausen

            Huffington Post:

            Dr Cascini has investigated the prospect of genetic modification, and in one sample she tested she found a trace of a substance often associated with genetically modified crops, strengthening concerns that some strains of cannabis have been genetically modified.

            Hawaii Free Press:

            The University of Central Florida even has a pending US Patent for a cannabis sativa genetic modification technique.

            In 2011, the genome of cannabis sativa was sequenced and published by British company Medicinal Genomics.

            GM marijuana is so widespread it was written up by AFP, June 24, 2011:

            Greenhouses lined with genetically modified marijuana sit on a mountainside just an hour ride from Cali, Colombia, where farmers say the enhanced plants are more powerful and profitable.

          • Joel Bedard

            This thread is capped on ‘replying’ to specific posts, so I will place my reply to Jim Brochhausen here:

            I could send you a thousand references contradicting yours–polyploidy resulting from the application of colchicine is not gene-splicing. There are also methods of influencing growth with the applications of gibberellic acid and silver thiosulfate, but these are not GMO methods. Polyploidy will yield mutations, and that is to what researchers such as Dr Casciniare referring. Additionally, Cannabis has been extensively hybridized, resulting in an increased incident of genetic ‘sports’. But there is absolutely zero way to identify a GMO marker in Cannabis, which would be the proof-positive of intentional laboratory gene-splicing.

            By the way–run a search of ‘fluffy bunnies’ online and tell me how many hits you get.

            Feel free to retort with a Wikipedia reference next.

        • Jason Wells

          Your link proves nothing in fact there are no gmo pot crops out on the market the genome has been sequenced but its still a long way ahead before that sort of stuff would be out in the market vs. some lab at montsanto.

          To whomever said there is no “Big Marijuana” you should put down the bong for a bit because it’s true. Large grower/seller collective’s, multi state dispensary owners have co opted groups like The Marijuana Policy Project to push more “regulation” rather than legalization and decrim. Their proposals put the average small business guy unable to get in on the market due to very high fees special taxes and the like allowing only the big out of state groups to come in. Keep it local right?

          • Joel Bedard

            How cute, a ‘put down the bong’ inference in what should be an honest dialogue.

            Kevin Sabet coined the term in an attempt to frame the burgeoning Cannabis industry as some nefarious bogeyman, when in fact, it is the entirely predictable evolution of a free market business model.

            It boggles the mind that publicly traded corporate prisons are perfectly acceptable, but growing, profitable businesses on the legalization side are decried.

            ‘Big marijuana’ is a myth. With billions in black market revenue being diverted into the free market, what did anyone think was going to happen? It is an economic gold rush, not some cabal of evil. Get a grip.

    • Bill Olenick

      Good point
      Keep it local including regulations.

      • Jason Wells

        Joel, An economic gold rush for sure and one that the very few can afford to participate in. With non refundable applications fees ranging from 10,000 to many 100’s of thousands just who do you think will be able to afford the fees? Not local VT farmers or middle class folks for sure. I think the fee in mass was around 40,000 non refundable and one guy they ex States Attorney Delahunt I believe was his name got 4 of the 11 dispensary spots. I am all for guys from CO or CA coming in and setting up shop but us as well as them need reasonable fees and regulations. They was these proposals are going it excludes everyone but the already well established multi outlet shop owners and grower collectives. Look what happened up in NorCal million bucks an acre for land in the boonies who do you think is buying that up investor backed collectives.

        • Joel Bedard

          Is it any different than wanted to purchase a fast-food or other franchise right? Your observations are of a capitalist economy–those that have money, wherewithal, drive and ambition end up rising to the top. Of course the fix is in, especially in Massachusetts, where former State Police are going to be running dispensaries. But nobody should be shocked by this outcome–the political landscape has been tilted for years. The Prohibition industry created this monster–legalization is at least an effort to unravel it all.

  • I am for legalization of cannabis as a drug crop, a food crop and a fiber crop. If it were legal without the current cumbersome regulation i would be growing hemp seed as chicken feed.

    All that being said, i am horrified that the State of VT contracted with the Rand corporation, a corporation that has long been associated with hiding the truth from the American Public (see the pentagon papers) and advising the country in highly unethical acts of war.

  • ray giroux

    Marina – I agree! It is shameful our State would employ this Corp!

    All those armored vehicles being distributed throughout the US? – Rand Corp.

    They make Billions off the tax payers and the War Machine.

    SO, while reading this article, all I could think was, “why are they making this so complicated”?

    The answer – they want the appearance of the State being in CONTROL of this BAD substance THEY ARE ABOUT TO LEGALIZE!

    Now, all they have to do is, try to find a problem for the solutions they are coming up with.

    Smoker or not a smoker, we should all reject this proposal. It is to much control over a plant that grows naturally out in the wild.

    The State should just legalize it and stay out of the profit end, the (what they call it, but…)tax.

  • David Dempsey

    I think the legislature has more pressing issues to deal with than this to work on, like education funding, forcing people to use a health exchange that doesn’t work, out of control spending to name a few.

  • Kim Fried

    I, like Paul Burns, Tony Klein and the Governor just don’t care about this issue because Vermont won’t be the leader, the trailblazer or the first. If Vermont isn’t the first, what the hell. I would however really like to know what they are smoking, it’s has to be a hybrid for sure.

  • Clay Gilbert

    It is a complex issue. First in adolescents, there is very solid research that shows it does decrease IQ by about 10 points and doesn’t return even if the person stops using marijuana. Second, saying it is less harmful tan alcohol is like saying a knife is less harmful than a pistol. Third, I do recognize that there are a lot of positive aspects of legalization. I would like to see the process go slowly while seeing what has happened in Colorado (which doesn’t seem good) and Washington and plan a course learning from those strategies.

    • Fred Woogmaster

      “…saying it is less harmful than alcohol is like saying a knife is less harmful than a pistol”, Mr. Gilbert?

      It, marijuana, is FAR less harmful than alcohol, demonstrated and proven every day.

      Your point in relation to development makes sense to me nonetheless. When legalized, more real discussion can take place, so that young people become informed about just that issue. There are many “substances” including caffeine and perhaps sugar, that would be best not ingested by those who have not achieved full development. Marijuana, I believe to be one of those substances.

      Although I have been a self-prescribed marijuana patient for many, many years, I have always discouraged its use by young people, just as I do alcohol – and even then, there are cases where marijuana has been extremely useful in treating childhood illness. Honest dialogue is badly needed.
      Everywhere. About everything.
      I appreciate your comment, Mr. Gilbert.

      Saying that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol is like saying

  • Jason Wells

    But after all the wrangling at the end of the day its just a plant and should be treated as such meaning its none of the States business at all.

    • And so is the coca plant. We all know what is derived from that. Should that be treated just the same?

      • Jason Wells

        Until we have a “Constitutional Amendment” prohibiting it like we did with alcohol yes. It is not anyones business what you may or may not put in your body.Perhaps you should google Freeway Ricky Ross to see what happens when substances are illegal.

  • Joel Bedard

    Hey Randall–ask the next pharmaceutical professional you come across to look up US Patent 6630507 in regards to the definition, who owns it, and how it might contradict Schedule I of the Controlled Substance Act–and get back to us.

    We’ll be waiting.

  • steve merrill

    JB–YES! Google that patent # and read the studies referenced in the end, they’re all there @ your fingertips..What ever happened to Brandeis’s saying about “the right to be left alone”? As a native New Englander and (now) an old Yankee myself, we had some old timers saying “So–How’s that Affect YOU exactly?” This is about a basic freedom for those of us who choose NOT to drink the addictive, flammable, liquid cancer-hol..And drivers “impaired”? A CHP buddy used to say to me “the drunks drive too fast, the stoners too slow, and the rest are applying make-up or eating behind the wheel”, and that was 30 years ago..He said finding the impaired was like shooting fish in a barrel, you pull them over and TALK to them, if impaired you ask them to exit the vehicle and look into the dash-cam and SPEAK..It’s just that simple..Cannabis was described as a “treasure trove” of compounds by the AMA when they testified AGAINST prohibition in 1937, the US Army OK’d “Goof-Butts” in the canal zone in Panama in 1926!..A USDA report from 1916 showed as much paper fiber could come from ONE acre of Hemp as does FOUR acres of trees that took 20 yrs. to grow! The seeds are FULL of essential oils without the mercury found in fish oils..I could go on..Check out that patent # and READ the medical studies, why else would the HHS “sell” the patent except to a “for profit” Big Pharma Co.? Pain control, appetite enhancement, sleeplessness stopped, neuroprotectant, anti oxidant, etc. etc..Check out Doug Fine (hemp) and Michael Backes on PirateTVSeattle..When I was a kid it was illegal for a black person to marry a white (south), gambling was illegal, and so was being gay, so much so that until 1974 it was a “mental illness”..We want OUR freedom, from arrest and incarceration once and for all, give it up, if you don’t like it then don’t take it. Don’t you dare tell me in a supposedly “Free” country what I can eat, drink, or smoke. Leave that to the Communist Chinese or other totalitarian states..SM, North Troy

  • Pete Novick

    Pete’s marijuana to-do list:

    1. Ask the state legislature to try a day of work while high.

    2. Encourage public schools to show old Cheech and Chong movies as part of their driver’s education program

    3. Lobby state regulators to require Vermont-grown marijuana to be packaged in a uniform manner, the way Vermont maple syrup is sold today. I would suggest a metal box with a tight-fitting lid. Maybe lined with something.

    Blast from the past:

    I first learned about the RAND Corporation when researching a paper as an undergraduate (a long, long time ago) about deterrence (the primary text was Politics Among Nations, by Hans Morganthau) and learned that Herman Kahn, who is widely credited with originating the deterrence policy of mutual assured destruction, and who was employed by Rand.

    Now here we are again…”thinking about the unthinkable.”

    Ha ha ha

  • I fail to understand how arguments about diminished IQ’s as a result of marijuana use pertain to a debate about legalizing recreational marijuana use in Vermont. SPOILER ALERT—marijuana is already widely available to youth in Vermont under the current regime along with a host of white and now brown powders. Perhaps the fools that advance these impotent arguments smoked way too much pot back in the day because they certainly advance some stupid ideas. Maybe living in fear makes you stupid because I note a tinge of cowardice in those who oppose marijuana law reform. Holland which has ignored it’s marijuana laws enjoys the lowest teen use of marijuana in all of Europe. The ever-pragmatic Dutch have succeeded in making marijuana use “boring”. I attended the hearing for public comment. The comments were three or four to one in favor of legalization. I was bummed I was not given a chance to testify but I did ask Beau Kilmer after the meeting
    “How do you collect data on something that is illegal?” His answer…”Well, people lie and we know how they lie so we factor that in to our figures.”

    He sees you when your’e sleeping he knows when your’e awake he knows if you’ve been bad or good so you better be good…..

    Who, Santa Clause? Nope its RANDy Clause.

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